Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 24, 2001
Take time to reflect on the Lord's Prayer
By FR. JOHN SPICER
To avoid allowing the Our Father to be a stereotype prayer, rather than a sincere raising of our minds and hearts to God, I suggest that at times we pause after each word or phrase and speak to God from the depths of our heart.
By way of example (and only example), I offer you the following thoughts:
"Our Father." Jesus called you "Abba" which, translated into English, means "Dad." Hence I too call you "Dad?" For you are closer to us than any earthly Dad could possibly be.
"Who art in heaven." I know little about heaven but Scripture reminds me, "No ear has heard or eye has seen what things God has prepared for those who love him."
Moreover, heaven must be awesomely wonderful because you God are love. I know that earthly love can be exceedingly heart warming. How much more will life be with you who are the height, the infinite height of love.
"Hallowed be thy name." Human names are often glorified in glaring headlines, in brilliant billboards, in flashing lights. How can I possibly glorify you as you deserve?
All I can do is to acknowledge in the depths of my being how little I know you, yet how infinitely great you are above my understanding. Nevertheless you can help me grow in praise of you. I rest on that hope.
"Thy kingdom come." Your kingdom, your reign, is indeed the most wonderful thing possible. It is your infinite love reaching out to our finiteness, raising it up to a share in your own infinity. Your kingdom is a loving sharing in your own Trinitarian love. And you give us a part in its unfolding.
"Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." I am quite adept at doing my own will, but not in doing yours. Yet your will is vastly more wise and more important than mine. Help me to put your will in the forefront of my life.
"Give us this day our daily bread." This earth of ours provides us with food for body, mind and even soul. But I'm still so hungry, so unfulfilled. Only you can do what human help cannot. Only you can fill my being.
As I pray these words I keep remembering St. Augustine's words, "My heart, O God is made for you. It will not rest until it rests in you."
"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Despite all the help you have given me, alas, I still trespass. I hurt my neighbour. I make mistakes. I sin.
Do put up with me, and in your patience keep chipping away at my faults so I may be more and more lenient with those who have hurt me.
"Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." Though I love you, I still feel drawn to earthly pleasures that are "off limits." My mind knows this and knows it to be true, but my heart is weak.
Do give me strength to face evil and, with your help, to conquer it and help others to do likewise.
This concludes my articles on the Our Father.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
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